At Putney, we want our students to explore the outdoors.
There are only so many “getting to know you” activities you can do on campus, so at the very start of the school year we send our students out with faculty leaders on what we call “Long Fall” trips.
After students arrive on campus and move into their rooms, we immediately pack up and head out in small groups for a four-day, three-night camping expedition. Some are point-to-point backpacking trips and others are base camp trips with a variety of options such as kayaking, bicycling, day hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, and more.
We believe that there is incredible value in every wilderness experience. For us, wilderness is a place where nature is dominant—and situations and their consequences are real. Living in these conditions, away from the distractions of modern civilization, fosters self-reliance, judgment, respect, and a sense of responsibility for our actions. It can also be a profoundly moving experience that leads to inspiration, joy, and commitment to an environmental ethic.
We hope to inspire our students to explore their understanding of leadership, teamwork, and technical skills. With both students and staff, we encourage the evolution of judgment, personal responsibility, and awareness of group needs (key leadership traits) through practical experience.